Federal Immigration Crime on the Rise
According to the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, the number of individuals sentenced in federal courts has more than doubled from 1992 to 2012. This phenomenon, according to the study, is a result of enforcement of immigration law, particularly unlawful reentry. In fact, unlawful reentry convictions have increased exponentially during the same time-frame, from 690 cases to 19,463 – a 28-fold rise – with almost half related to unlawful reentry convictions. If you or someone you know has been charged with unlawful reentry, or any other federal immigration crime, contact an experienced immigration defense attorney right away.
Federal immigration law covers the legal status of people residing in the United States, including immigration, deportation, citizen and residency. Immigrants that have been charged with unlawful reentry, or entering the United States without government approval after already being legally “removed,” face a federal crime. The Immigration and Nationality Act applies to any alien who enters the United States, or is found within the country, without government approval after having any of the following occur:
- Removal from the United States;
- Deportation from the United States;
- Exclusion from the United States; or
- Leaving the United States while an order for one of the above is outstanding.
According to the Pew Research Center’s study, almost all of those sentenced for illegal reentry received a prison sentence that, on average, was two years.
Penalties for Illegal Reentry
An alien who is charged with illegal reentry may be charged with a fine, imprisonment of no more than two years, or a fine and imprisonment together. Punishment for an individual charged who has a prior 1) criminal conviction of a non-aggravated felony, or 2) three or more misdemeanor convictions of drug-related crime or a crime against a person is more severe. These include a fine, imprisonment of no more than 10 years, or fine and imprisonment collectively. Penalties are even harsher for individuals charged with illegal reentry who have a criminal conviction of an aggravated felony. In such cases, the maximum time for imprisonment is 20 years.
Help is Available
If you or someone you know has been charged with illegal reentry or any other federal immigration crime, contact an experienced immigration defense attorney today. The federal government has immigration attorneys working hard on their side; you should have a skilled and aggressive attorney who will fight to defend your case. With decades of experience in federal litigation from the trial through the appellate level, Carl H. Lida will fight to put the best defense forward. Call the Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 472-5001 today to schedule your initial consultation.